Posted on
23 | 09 | 2014

Knowledge Factory inspires the new generation

Yet another year in a row, the biggest regional IT event brings a lot of excitement and innovations from the world of IT. In the coming two days, a range of educational workshops and lectures for elementary, high school and university students will be held at the University of Donja Gorica in Podgorica.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014, Podgorica – For the fourth year in a row Knowledge Factory, an IT event, is being held in Podgorica. Hosted at the University of Donja Gorica, it is one of the most visited program segments delivered as part of the five-day event Open Days of Science, which is held in various locations. Knowledge Factory was initiated in 2009 in Belgrade by Comtrade Group, and is sponsored by the Republic of Montenegro Ministry of Science and Ministry of Information Society and Telecommunications, with the support from world-leading software and hardware providers.

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Knowledge Factory was ceremonially opened today at 11:00 AM at the University of Donja Gorica, in the presence of Vice President of Montenegro Government and Minister of Information Society and Telecommunications, Professor Dr. Vujica Lazovic who officially announced the opening of the event. He was joined by President of Comtrade Group, Veselin Jevrosimovic, representative of the European commission, Minister of Science Sanja Vlahovic, together with a large number of experts, guests, students and representatives from online and print media.

The speakers focused on the need and importance of incorporating information technology in the education curriculum and pointed to the increasing demand for technical expertise on the global market.

Dean of the Faculty of Information Technology at the University of Donja Gorica, Dr. Milica Vukotic, said: “Every year we are witnessing an increasing number of students from elementary and high schools at the University of Donja Gorica (UDG) at Knowledge Factory, an event that is visited by students from almost all municipalities of Montenegro. This increase in attendance is accompanied by the increasing interest of elementary and high school students in this type of IT content. At UDG, we are producing knowledge during the entire year; we are using creative and innovative teaching methods that are helping us build a University that is entrepreneurial and investigative in spirit, while at the same time equipping students with real-life, practical skills that they will use in their future careers. We are pleased that Comtrade, even prior to organizing this truly remarkable regional IT event, recognized the potential of UDG before other have. In the last few years, there has been a significant change in the science community in Montenegro, which is evident in the statistical data, but even more so through the number of realized science projects thanks to Minister Sanja Vlahovic and the Ministry of Science. Realization of Knowledge Factory, as well as a number of other projects, would not be possible if we didn’t have the information and telecommunications infrastructure that’s under the authority of resources ministry. I want to thank the Ministry and Minister Lazovic for recognizing the importance of this event from the very beginning and for taking part in its organization.”

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In the last six years, Knowledge Factory has contributed significantly to the advancement of IT literacy in the region, as well opened opportunities for producing IT professionals in several surrounding states. From the beginning of the Knowledge Factory project, including this year’s event, close to 18,000 young people had the opportunity to get to know the latest trends from the IT world during the two-day event. This year, the biggest IT event in the region opened doors to students from Podgorica, Kotor, Niksic, Bar, Andrijevic, Berane, Savnik, Zabalj, Plav, Rozaje, Pljevlja, Pluzin, Bjelo Polje and Kolasin.

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Veselin Jevrosimovic, President of Comtrade, said: “We started Knowledge Factory with the goal of turning education into an opportunity, not a problem. As President of Comtrade, a company whose software solutions are competing on global markets, I am aware that technical knowledge and skills can have a critical impact on career development and economic emancipation of entire generations. That’s why partnerships and collaboration between the education sector and leading IT firms is of great importance, not only for the creation of favorable circumstances for exporting knowledge, but also for the development of the IT sector on the local markets. Young generations need to have easy access to the latest knowledge and ways of thinking, which was the goal of Knowledge Factory from the very beginning. Through lectures, workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions, this educational event stimulates curiosity and creativity in the sphere of information technology. That’s why I initiated our latest project, Tesla tablet, named after the most recognized scientist from this region, Nikola Tesla. We partnered with Intel to produce powerful, but affordable tablets to provide the youngest generations with access to the most versatile knowledge and information on the Internet. Information technology is a field that is continuously evolving, which is why our educational event is not only producing knowledge, but also something that is equally important – hope.”

With the help of instructors from the College of Information Technology in Belgrade, participants will have the opportunity to take a peek at computer hardware and get more closely acquainted with numerous challenges of the Internet. Experts from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Belgrade and Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad will present innovations in the robotics field, along with practical demonstrations and presentations about modern humanoid robots. Microsoft Development Center and software companies DEVANA Technologies and EIPIX Serbia sent their experts who will demonstrate programming skills, creating computer graphic visual effects and video games. The most anticipated segment of the entire event is Tesla & The Lamplighter, a 3D animated short film written and directed by Branislav Brkic from studio Ringishpil.

Vice President of Montenegro Government and Minister of Information Society and Telecommunications, Professor Dr. Vujica Lazovic, said the following at the event opening: “This event attracts young, talented experts, those who want to participate in the promotion of the biggest and most essential resource of today – knowledge. Information technologies impact the knowledge society, which seeks new rules of education – and expert knowledge carries with itself new rules of competition, new economic logic and new rules of economic game. In that sense, the paradigm of today is that we are solving problems of the modern century using last century’s inventions. That’s why there is a significant challenge for every individual and every country and that is, regardless of the degree of economic development, to participate as much as possible in the knowledge society and economy of knowledge. The task of our government is to provide information infrastructure, normative, institutionalized, educational and technological. In that sense, we have made an important advancement. We are striving to equip all schools and educational institutions in Montenegro with computers and Internet connection and to promote the inclusion of information technology in all school programs. Through E-government services, we raised the transparency and effectiveness of the government’s work. I am excited about events and gatherings like this one because of the investment made in people. Quoting Milton Friedman with the words: “Governments never learn. Only people learn”, Vice President Lazovic officially opened this year’s Knowledge Factory.

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The most talented students will be participating in knowledge quizzes to compete for valuable prizes. Just like in the previous years, event participants are showing a high degree of interest towards the presented content, as well as motivation to use the knowledge they gained in further specialization and development of their educational interests. Thus, the University of Donja Gorica and Comtrade Group continue their role as being socially responsible and creating favorable circumstances for exporting knowledge from Southeast Europe, as well as building a stronger foundation for developing the IT sector in the region.

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